Ocean Accounts Diagnostic Tool

Ocean Accounts Diagnostic Tool (Version 3, June 4, 2021)

The Ocean Accounts Diagnostic Tool is designed to engage and guide structured dialogue among stakeholders – data users, producers and holders – for strategically implementing and advancing ocean accounts.

The approach applied in the ESCAP Ocean Accounts pilot studies1 has been to use the Diagnostic Tool outline as the structure of a more detailed scoping report. The scoping report may be coordinated by an independent consultant, the National Statistical Office (NSO) or by a government agency responsible for the ocean.

The Ocean Accounts Diagnostic Tool is designed for use in a workshop setting with prior and subsequent iteration. It is organized by seven diagnostic components plus the practical actions pertaining to each of these components:

  1. Statement of Strategy and Policy Priorities

    1. Document national visions and priorities related to the ocean, the environment, biodiversity, sustainable development, and green/blue economy, including managing natural assets and flows of services from them.

    2. Link priorities to environmental concerns, such as pollution or overfishing.

  2. Institutions

    1. Identify stakeholders including producers and users of related information (government agencies, academia, NGOs, international agencies), but also other groups such as civil society that can benefit from improved information.

    2. Identify relevant institutional mechanisms currently in place.

    3. Review the role of the National Statistical Office to highlight the advantages of integrating information and approaches across the National Statistical System.

  3. Knowledge

    1. Identify key national data sources that can be used as a basis for further development.

  4. Progress

    1. Understand what progress has already been made in developing ocean data, statistics and accounts as well as other environment statistics and accounts.

  5. Context

    1. Identify related statistical development activities that could benefit (and benefit from) ocean accounts initiatives.

  6. Priorities

    1. Determine the priorities for action to develop selected ocean accounts.

  7. Constraints and opportunities

    1. Assess (a) constraints to implementing specific ocean accounts and (b) opportunities for immediate actions to address these constraints.

Ocean Accounts Diagnostic Tool


1a. Vision

National vision for sustainable development

1b. Concerns

Ocean-related problems, challenges, concerns the country faces that prohibit/hold back the realization of the vision

1c. Priorities

Key national policy priorities in line with to the vision and concerns. Could be one or a combination of

Economic focus (e.g., ocean economy, tourism)

Environmental/conservation focus (e.g., protected areas and other protection schemes)

Social focus (for example, the multidimensional equity aspects of ocean economy and ocean conservation)

1d. Plans

Existing or planned policy tools, including Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), in response to the priorities


2a. Stakeholders

May be arranged according to the priorities (plus MSP). Include stakeholders that should be engaged

2b. Roles of NSO

Particularly environment statistics, SEEA and ocean accounts compilation

2c. Mechanisms

That ensures integration across stakeholders, programmes, projects and processes (for example, senior steering committees).


3a. Data sources

May be arranged according to the priorities (plus MSP), including both official and non-official (such as academic, NGO, etc.) data and statistics

3b. Other key documents

Other key documents relevant to ocean data and statistics as well as ocean policy and management


4.Progress related to ocean accounts

Parts of SEEA and ocean accounts that have been compiled/piloted, including efforts in harmonizing & integrating environmental data and statistics

Existing or planned projects

Types of outputs produced


5a. Statistical context

Other statistical development activities, such as statistical legislation, adoption or revision of new standards, new data collection or integration initiatives.

5b. Other international activities

International support for statistical development and measurement of the ocean. May be arranged according to the priorities (plus MSP)


6.Priority ocean accounts

What parts of ocean accounts should be prioritized for implementation/further improvement considering information above.

Who could/should be engaged, both nationally and internationally, in the compilation?


7a. Constraints

Specific constraints under each priority account. Otherwise, key common constraints to progress the compilation/use.

7b. Opportunities

Specific opportunities under each priority account. Otherwise, general opportunities.

7c. Priority actions

To overcome the constraints and take advantage of the opportunities to progress the compilation of priority accounts


1 https://communities.unescap.org/environment-statistics/tools/ocean-accounts-national-pilots-3